Paul W. Klipsch set out to design a speaker that could replicate the crystal-clear sound images of a ‘live’ orchestra or large jazz ensemble with an ease never heard before.
That speaker was called the Klipschorn and the world of audio engineering would never be the same again.
Now, 60 some odd years on, the horn lives on in the guise of the Icon series, and the WF-34.
These sleek towers stand 40 inches high and have a width of over six inches, while weighing in at a moderate weight of thirty-three pounds apiece.
The wood veneer finish (cherry, oak or maple) is as attractive in person as it is in pictures.
At the top of the front of the speaker, staring you down, is a 1-inch titanium diaphragm compression driver mated with Klipsch’s new XT Tractrix Horn.
For the low end, this speaker is equipped with a triple 4.5” fiberglass cone woofers.
On closer inspection, the XT Tractrix Horn is an integral part of the Icon WF-34 line of speakers.
According to Klipsch, this new horn delivers a wider dispersion pattern than previous horns, without the uniformity issues this could have with other horn designs.
Regardless of what they say it does, I found the result to be a very natural and ‘alive’ sound quality to these speakers from both Blu-ray and SACD sources.
The triple-woven fiberglass woofers are no slouches either. They punch out pristine bass, but more on all that in a moment.
For my review, I used the WF-34 floor standing speakers (obviously!) matched with the WC-24 center channel speaker, a pair of Klipsch WB-14 surround speakers and a Klipsch XW-300d sub-woofer.
A Yamaha receiver and Pioneer Blu-ray player supplied power and content.
Placement of the speakers was about six feet apart from each other on either side of the HDTV, and that amount of distance seemed about right for this room. Your room and setup will vary, of course.
Unleashing the Beast
I started out with DJ Antoine’s “Underneath.” The WF-34’s power came bursting through as the first bass-heavy notes came hurtling out. Klipsch’s 300d sub-woofer I was listening to contributed much to the dynamic low-end of the system.
The electronic keyboard sequence pounded true, without masking the male vocals. I am not a fan, but I was actually able to enjoy the Zack Efron vehicle High School Musical 3.
This was thanks to the power of the WF-34s. From the very beginning the movie’s soundtrack hit me like a locomotive (a good thing).
The bass of the movie’s orchestrated music filled the room during the movie’s opening scene. The swelling violas, oboes, trumpets and horns really sounded clear and pristine but never overwhelming.
I greatly enjoyed my time with the Icon system. The WF-34s are a powerful speaker in the mid-range category, and the XW-300d offers strong, room-filling bass. The matching surround and center fill out the system nicely.
Absolutely check these out.
Icon WF-34: $1,199/pair
CONTACT: 800.KLIPSCH, klipschspeakers.com
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